Reader’s news links for July 9 – 2015

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In order to preserve the flow of conversation about various posted items, and also in order to make it easier for visitors to find the list of related links being shared by other readers, regulars and interested parties in one place, each day a post is automatically created at a minute past midnight ET.

This way, under the various posts of the day, conversation can take place without as much ‘noise’ on the various links and articles and ideas in the main posts and all the news links being submitted can be seen under these auto-posts by clicking on the comments-link right below these ones.

Thank you all for those that take the effort to assist this site in keeping the public informed. Below, typically people can find the latest enemy propaganda, news items of related materials from multiple countries and languages, op-eds from many excellent sites who write on our topics, geopolitics and immigration issues and so on.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

56 Replies to “Reader’s news links for July 9 – 2015”

  1. Ghardaia clashes: At least 22 dead in Algerian oasis city (BBC, July 8, 2015)

    “At least 22 people have died in clashes between Arab and Berber communities around the Algerian oasis city of Ghardaia, the state news agency says.

    The city has seen clashes for the last two years, with rivalry among communities for jobs, housing and land.

    But the two days of clashes in Ghardaia and two nearby cities – Guerrara and Berianne – are the most violent yet.

    President Abdelaziz Bouteflika convened an emergency meeting on Wednesday.

    A statement by the president urged people in Ghardaia “to help to restore calm and to preserve the age-old bonds of brotherhood which have always marked the region”.

    Interior Minister Noureddine Bedoui arrived in Ghardaia, a Unesco world heritage site, earlier in the day.

    Mozabites – members of the local Berber community – called for better protection in a protest in the capital, Algiers, 600km (373 miles) to the north.

    “The situation is very serious,” one Mozabite leader told AFP. “This is not just clashes any more, it’s terrorism.”

    Algeria’s official news agency, APS, said most of the deaths were from “projectiles”. It is not known to which groups the dead belonged.

    A cemetery belonging to Mozabites was desecrated in December 2013, leading to fighting between groups. At least a dozen people had been killed before violence flared up again this week, AP said.”

  2. Syria conflict: Belgium rescues 200 Aleppo Christians (BBC, July 8, 2015)

    “Some 240 people, mainly Christians, have been brought out of Syria’s second city of Aleppo and taken to Belgium, the government in Brussels says.

    All the families had fled their homes and were at risk of repeated human rights abuse, a spokesman told the BBC.

    Civil society groups helped take the families to safety in Lebanon.

    Aleppo has been devastated by three years of fierce fighting between Syrian government forces, rebels and jihadist militants.

    Before the war, it had a Christian population of around 160,000, one of the biggest in the Middle East.

    The refugees, who included Yazidis as well as Christians, were moved out along the only open road from Aleppo to the Lebanese border.

    The operation took place over two months and amid great secrecy. Belgium is one of several European countries that have come under pressure to help Christians and other religious minorities in Syria threatened with persecution.

    “We did it via civil society organisations which could get them out of there,” a foreign ministry spokesman said.

    Few other details have been revealed, but the spokesman said some of the families had connections with people already in Belgium.

    They were met on the Lebanese border by representatives from the Belgian embassy in Beirut with the help of the NGOs and have now all arrived in Belgium
    The families are now expected to be granted asylum in Belgium.

    Belgium has until now only offered asylum to Syrian refugees through the United Nations, national media report.”

  3. Islamic State conflict: Kurds reclaim Ain Issa in Syria (BBC, July 8, 2015)

    “Kurdish-led fighters say they have reclaimed a town from Islamic State close to the group’s northern Syrian stronghold of Raqqa.

    Fighters from IS seized the town of Ain Issa on Monday, but a statement by the Kurdish Popular Protection Units (YPG) said they had now taken it back.

    They were supported by a female brigade, the YPJ and, the AFP agency said, by US airstrikes.
    The town, only 50km (30 miles) north of Raqqa, is of strategic importance.

    It is at an intersection of the main roads from Raqqa to other areas IS controls in Aleppo province, to the west, and Hassakeh province, to the east.

    The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also confirmed Ain Issa was back in Kurdish fighters’ hands.

    In recent weeks, IS has launched several deadly counter-attacks against the Kurds…”

  4. Yemen crisis: Dozens of soldiers killed in air strike (BBC, July 8, 2015)

    “Dozens of soldiers have been killed in a Saudi-led coalition air strike on an army base in southern Yemen.

    One military source said the soldiers were loyal to the exiled president and that the facility was hit in error.

    But another source claimed the strike was called in to stop the soldiers defecting to the Houthi rebel movement.

    More than 3,000 people have been killed since the coalition began an air campaign in March to drive back the rebels and restore the government.

    On Tuesday, the UN announced that at least 1,528 civilians were among the dead.

    Another one million civilians have been displaced by the conflict and more than 80% of Yemen’s 25 million people now need some form of humanitarian aid.

    The incident in which the soldiers died reportedly took place on Tuesday night at the headquarters of the 23rd Mechanised Brigade in al-Abr, Hadramawt province, near the border with Saudi Arabia.

    A military source told the Spanish news agency Efe that coalition aircraft bombed the base, used by forces loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, while attempting to stop rebel forces taking control of a nearby border crossing.

    The source said that at least 70 soldiers were killed and 200 others wounded.

    Efe quoted a statement by army chief Gen Mohammed Ali al-Maqdisi as saying that the strikes had been carried out “in error” and caused fatalities….”

  5. TURKEY – Trial opens of Turkish columnists over Mohammed cartoon

    Istanbul (AFP) – Two Turkish newspaper commentators went on trial on Thursday for illustrating their columns with a controversial cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed published by French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

    Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Cetinkaya, writers at the secular Cumhuriyet daily, face up to 4 1/2 years in jail on charges of “inciting public hatred” and “insulting religious values” in connection with the cartoon.

    Karan and Cetinkaya were not present at the first hearing, which was attended by over 100 plaintiffs, most of whom described themselves as readers offended by the columns, Cumhuriyet reported.

    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s daughter, Sumeyye, his son, Bilal, and his son-in-law Berat Albayrak, a newly-elected lawmaker, also asked to be plaintiffs in the case, their lawyer said.

    The prosecution asked the judge to issue an arrest warrant for the two journalists, who said they were out of Istanbul on a work trip.

    One plaintiff named Kamil Ozcelik told the court that publishing the cartoon was like “pouring gasoline on a fire” in an overwhelmingly Muslim country.

    “If the court does not punish them, let us punish them,” another was quoted as saying.

    The hearing was adjourned to October 12.

    Cumhuriyet had published a four-page Charlie Hebdo pull-out translated into Turkish marking the French satirical weekly’s first issue since the attack on its Paris offices by Islamist gunmen in January that killed 12 people.

    The edition did not include the controversial front cover featuring Prophet Mohammed, but a smaller version of the cartoon was included twice inside the newspaper to illustrate columns on the subject by Karan and Cetinkaya.

    Most media in Turkey had refrained from publishing the cover and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at the time had condemned the publication of cartoons of the Muslim prophet as an “open provocation.”

    There has been growing concern about the numbers of journalists currently facing legal proceedings in Turkey, many on accusations of insulting Erdogan.

    Erdogan caused outrage in the run-up to Turkey’s June 7 elections by saying Cumhuriyet newspaper editor-in-chief Can Dundar would “pay a heavy price” over a front-page story which it said proved Turkey had sent arms to rebels in Syria.

    The Cumhuriyet daily, which sees itself as the voice of secular Turkey, is a vehement opponent of the Islamic-rooted authorities under Erdogan.

    • Turkish columnists go on trial for publishing Charlie Hebdo cover

      A trial of two columnists from the pro-secular Cumhuriyet daily, who featured a front cover of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in their columns earlier this year, got under way on Thursday in ?stanbul. The journalists are accused of “publicly defaming religious values of a segment of the society” and “inciting to hatred and enmity,” crimes that carry a prison sentence of up to four and a half years.

      Up to 100 complainants were present at the first hearing of the trial held at ?stanbul Courthouse, while columnists Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Çetinkaya were absent, notifying the court through their lawyers that they had commitments outside of ?stanbul on the day of the hearing.

      Some 1,280 people filed a complaint against Karan and Çetinkaya for featuring the front cover of the Charlie Hebdo magazine which depicted Prophet Muhammad. The cover was that of the first issue of Charlie Hebdo published after a deadly attack in January on the magazine’s headquarters in Paris which killed 12 people. World leaders, including Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davuto?lu joined a solidarity march in Paris days after the attack.

      The complainants include two daughters, a son and the son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, as well as the president’s aide, Mustafa Varank. Erdo?an’s daughters Sümeyye Erdo?an and Esra Albayrak, his son Bilal Erdo?an, his son-in-law Berat Albayrak and Varank did not attend the hearing, however lawyers representing them were present at the court.

      A lawyer representing Erdo?an’s family members and aide said they requested to be co-plaintiffs in the case.

      Other complainants protested the absence of Karan and Çetinkaya, with one of them being seen crying as he accused the journalists of insulting the prophet during his speech to the court.

      Another complainant told the court that they should be punished by law and if not, “handed to us so that we can give them their punishment.” The complainant apologized and retracted his statement after the judge presiding over the hearing reminded them that the remarks amount to a crime, the private Do?an news agency reported.

      One complainant said he wanted the Cumhuriyet newspaper to be “silenced” while another said he also has complaints about Davuto?lu attending the solidarity march in Paris, according to Do?an.

      A lawyer for Karan and Çetinkaya said his clients were outside ?stanbul due to professional commitments and that they would be present at the next hearing.

      The court rejected the complainants’ request that the printing of Cumhuriyet be halted, and adjourned the trial to Oct. 12.

      • U.S. pushes Turkey on Syria border security; allies divided over Kurds

        Senior U.S. officials have urged Turkey to do more to stop jihadists crossing its border with Syria, and the two NATO allies appear divided on the role of Kurdish militias in fighting Islamic State.

        Retired General John Allen, appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama to build a coalition against Islamic State, held talks in Ankara on Tuesday and Wednesday with his Turkish counterparts on joint efforts to fight the Islamist militants.

        Turkey has been a reluctant partner in the coalition, arguing that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad also needs to be forced from power and fearing territorial gains by Kurdish militias will fuel separatist sentiment among its own Kurds.

        Turkey has watched with concern as Syrian Kurdish PYD forces, backed by U.S.-led air strikes, have pushed back Islamic State militants from Syrian towns near the Turkish border.

        “Turkey has certain conditions and is discussing them with the United States … It’s important for our allies to understand Turkey’s sensitivities,” Ahmet Berat Conkar, head of parliament’s foreign affairs commission, told Reuters.

        Protecting Turkmen Syrians, who have been displaced by fighting in northern Syria in recent weeks, and preventing a new wave of refugees to Turkey were among Ankara’s priorities, he said.

        Conkar, who was not at the talks, said Turkey would continue to consider the PYD a terrorist organisation as long as it maintained links with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a militant group which has fought an insurgency against the Turkish state for three decades.

        That puts it at odds with Washington.

        “The Kurds are acting, and because the Kurds are capable of acting, we are supporting them, and that is successful,” U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington on Tuesday.

        He also suggested Allen’s delegation was pushing Turkish authorities to step up border security to prevent fighters and supplies from reaching Islamic State.

        Washington was trying to “get the Turks to up their game”, Carter said.

        “They’re a NATO ally. They have a strong stake in things, in stability to their south. I believe they could do more along the border.”

        Turkey has faced criticism from some Western nations for failing to do more to stop foreign fighters crossing and joining Islamic State. It argues that domestic intelligence agencies in the West need to stop their nationals being radicalised and travelling to Turkey in the first place.

        It has sent additional troops and military equipment to parts of its 900-km (560-mile) border with Syria in recent days as fighting in the north intensifies.

    • There is none. I decided that as the new theme I use allows for automatically rotating headers, I would have photos of Ottawa Canada, where we work from, which I felt are aesthetically pleasing. A little beauty is needed I think given how bleak the subject and so on. The stone bench was made by a man and his young child-daughter as a nice thing to do for all but the photo does not do it justice. I may rotate that out in favour of something else as the sentiment doesn’t come across.

  6. Tunisia attack: UK tourists advised to leave country

    All British nationals are being urged to leave Tunisia as a further terror attack is “highly likely”, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said.

    Mr Hammond said there was no suggestion of a “specific or imminent threat”, but said the Foreign Office was advising against all non-essential travel there.

    It estimates there are up to 3,000 UK tourists currently in Tunisia and a few hundred British residents.

    […]Britons currently in Tunisia are urged to get in touch with their tour operators to plan their return to the UK, with those travelling independently advised to return on commercial flights.

    Mr Hammond said: “While we do not have any information suggesting a specific or imminent threat, since the attack in Sousse the intelligence and threat picture has developed considerably, leading us to the view that a further terrorist attack is highly likely.”

    The Foreign Office is in close contact with tour operators who are now arranging to “bring their customers home as quickly as possible”, Mr Hammond said.

    • They may be supporting ISIS to divide the Sunni groups so it will be easier for them to take over the middle east.

  7. He writes:
    The region has seen nothing like it since the Mongol invasion of the 13th century. Perpetual war has turned into a snowball that accumulates people and resources as it rolls downhill and strips the ground bare of sustenance. Those who are left shiver in tents in refugee camps, and their young men go off to the war. There is nothing new about this way of waging war; it was invented in the West during the Thirty Years War by the imperial general Albrecht von Wallenstein, and it caused the death of nearly half the population of Central Europe between 1618 and 1648.

      • That is a very good analysis, while it is probably optimistic about the size of the fighting and the number of causalities it is accurate in the end result. The one thing he is not taking into consideration is the way automation is going to take over the production jobs and the house keeping and care giving for the elderly. This will leave the majority of the younger people available for military service. This is also true of the west, also even now the US and others are working on using robots as force multipliers in combat.

  8. CANADA – MONTREAL – East-end imam suing mayor Coderre for $500,000

    The Montreal imam who asked for, and was refused, a permit from the city to open an Islamic community centre in the city’s east end back in January, is now suing mayor Denis Coderre.

    Hamza Chaoui wants $500,000 from the mayor, who branded him a security risk and an agent of radicalization.

    “You must choose your words carefully, especially when you’re the mayor of a large city like Montreal,” Chaoui wrote on his Facebook page Thursday.
    ( in French ) Imam Chaoui: Coderre poursuivi pour un demi-million

  9. New Yemeni al Qaeda leader calls for attacks on United States

    The new leader of al Qaeda’s Yemen branch has called for attacks on the United States in his first speech since taking command, the U.S.-based SITE monitoring group reported on Thursday, citing an audio recording.

    Qassim al-Raymi succeeded Nasser al-Wuhayshi as military commander of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) after Wuhayshi was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen’s south-eastern city of Mukalla last month.

    In the speech, Raymi eulogized Wuhayshi, pledged allegiance to al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, and called for attacks on the United States, SITE said.

    “All of you must direct and gather your arrows and swords against it,” SITE quoted Raymi as telling Muslims in general in the 14 minute and 9 second recording.

    “God has helped you against this enemy, for not only did you reach its home, but with praise to God and His grace, you have reached the depths of its heart,” he added.

    The authenticity of the recording, produced by AQAP’s al-Malahem Media Foundation, could not immediately be verified.

    Wuhayshi’s death was seen as a major blow to AQAP, regarded by the United States as al-Qaeda’s most dangerous affiliate, and to al-Qaeda more broadly.

    Addressing Zawahri, he said: “I pledge allegiance to you, to listen and obey, in times of difficulty and prosperity, in hardship and in ease, to endure being discriminated against and not to dispute about rule with those in power, and to wage jihad in the cause of God the Almighty, with the Book of Allah and the Sunnah [traditions] of His Messenger, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, as much I am able.”

    Raymi also congratulated a coalition of jihadi factions in Syria that include the Nusra Front for its recent success in Idlib province, and the Afghan Taliban for victories in its Azm spring offensive, SITE said.

  10. KANSAS CITY – MO – Police: Officers shoot man threatening public with sword

    Shooting “victim” suffers critical injuries

    Police said a Kansas City police offficer shot a man who was threatening people with a sword in a Kansas City park.

    The shooting happened just before 5 p.m. at a park near Gregory and The Paseo boulevards.

    Investigators said the man, who was in his 20s, was swinging a large sword at cars driving past the area.
    An officer responding to the scene told the man to put the sword down. When he did not, she shot him in the abdomen.

    The victim suffered critical injuries.

    No police officers were injured in the incident.

    The officer has been placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated.

  11. DAILY MAIL – The ISIS massacre of 770 in Iraq that was so bloody it could be seen from space: 24 fanatics sentenced to hang after satellite evidence helped bring them to justice

    Original death toll of 190 after ISIS seized Tikrit in June 2014 and executed captured soldiers has since been tripled
    Satellite images, footage of massacre and an eyewitness account revealed two undiscovered mass execution sites
    Crucial photographs and Islamic State’s own propaganda video helped convict 24 fanatics behind the mass killing
    They were sentenced to hang by an Iraqi court but four were acquitted for lack of evidence and 604 are still at large

  12. Shahidullah Shahid switched sides apparently… Thats some news, isnt it! Maybe he should have stayed with the TTP instead. Now he seems to be gone for good. In any case, that sounds good to me.

    Senior IS commander in Afghanistan ‘killed by a drone’ (BBC, July 9, 2015)

    “A third senior Islamic State (IS) commander was killed in a drone strike earlier this week in east Afghanistan, Afghan intelligence officials say.

    Shahidullah Shahid was a former member of the Pakistani Taliban who defected to the IS group, they say. He is believed to have had several aliases.

    There has been no independent confirmation of his death.

    The BBC’s David Loyn in Kabul says that Shahid was a former spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban.

    He was the most prominent of a group of fighters who appeared in a video in January, apparently filmed in Pakistan, pledging allegiance to the self-styled Islamic State.

    Intelligence officials say that he was killed in the same drone strike on Tuesday which also killed another senior IS commander and scores of militants.

    Our correspondent says that at least two other senior IS members in addition to Shahid have also been killed in drone strikes – showing that, while the remaining international forces in Afghanistan are not engaged in combat, they are taking seriously the reports of the emergence of the militant group.

    The police chief of Nangarhar province confirmed on Thursday that Shahid had been killed in Tuesday’s drone strike. However there has been no word from Nato – the only force capable of launching drone attacks in the area.

    Nangarhar has seen an upsurge of fighting in recent weeks, mostly between IS and the Taliban, forcing thousands of people to flee their homes.

    The province borders lawless areas inside Pakistan, and is one of the areas where IS militants are most active in Afghanistan.

    “[Shahid] wanted to expand IS’s operation in the country and with his death, it will have an impact on their activities,” Afghanistan National Directorate of Security spokesman Hasib Sediqi told Reuters.

    He said that Shahid was killed along with Gul Zaman – another senior IS commander- and as many as 49 other IS militants in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, where they have recently gained ground after pushing back the Taliban.

    Afghanistan’s spy agency, the National Directorate of Security, recently released a video on Facebook showing how its special forces were fighting against the IS threat.

    IS first made its presence felt in Pakistan in April, when its regional spokesman claimed their fighters had shot dead three Pakistani soldiers.”

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